Get weekly newsletter updates from Gretchen.

A Happiness Lesson from My Daughters’ School Motto to “Go Forth Unafraid.”


I’ve mentioned many times how much I love all teaching stories, koans, parables, aphorisms, maxims, epigrams, proverbs, and the like -- anything that crams a big idea into a small space.

And for that reason, I've always been intrigued by school mottoes.

Recently, my older daughter graduated, which was a huge moment for her -- and for me too.

Her school's motto is “Go forth unafraid.” It’s part of the school song: “We go forth unafraid/Strong with love and strong with learning…” It’s deeply embedded in the school culture.

During the graduation ceremony, that motto was projected on a giant screen above the students' heads.

And as I sat in the audience and watched all the seniors receive their diplomas, I thought, “That's what I want for my daughter, and it's what I want for myself too. Go forth unafraid.

What was your school motto? Did it make a serious impression on you?

As I said, I think about my school motto all the time. By contrast, when I asked my husband Jamie about his school motto, he couldn't remember it! I guess not everyone is as entranced by mottoes as I am.

More Episodes For You

icon onward

One Last Thing

Want a new podcast to listen to?

With the same vibe as “Happier,” The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life, made better.”

Learn More

Get My Weekly Newsletter

Sign up to get my free weekly newsletter. It highlights the best material from here, my Facebook Page, and new original work.